By Chelsea Boyle
Stirring haka and waiata performances by Carterton School pupils powered through the Carterton Information Centre on Monday night.
It was the last time the youngsters would give a full performance of their impressive repertoire for the year.
Principal Alison Woollard said the performances had been going from strength to strength every year.
“I always get goosebumps and I always cry,” she said.
“It’s the passion they put into it that really comes through.”
She said it took a great deal of self-discipline from the children, and taught them how to work well in a group.
At Carterton School, kapa haka has been integrated into its curriculum for pupils Year 5 and below.
However, many pupils choose to stay with the programme longer, performing in the kapa haka group right up until they left the school.
Carterton School’s kapa haka is made up of two groups — Akomanga Ropu, Years 0-5, and Kapa Haka Tuakana, Years 5-8.
Akomanga Ropu has been practising every morning with their teacher, Lesley Standish, who is known to pupils as Whaea Lesley.
She told the audience that kapa haka was all about unity.
“Kapa haka is about celebrating our culture and kotahitanga — unity — joining together as one and striving for excellence, participating and being the best we can be,” Whaea Lesley said.
“United together as one, with everyone putting great effort and love into learning and performing.
“Each person brings their own skills and passion to kapa haka.
“Everyone’s performance counts and everyone is important in the ropu.”
The event capped off a successful year for the kapa haka group, who started the year in February performing in front of John Key at the unveiling of the Charles Rooking Carter statue.